Shrewsbury is principally a residential town with a population of 37,000; however, there is a significant amount of industry and business in the community. The public school system includes a pre-school, five elementary schools, two middle schools (grades 5/6 and 7/8) and one high school (grades 9 through 12). Shrewsbury is located in central Massachusetts, five miles east of Worcester and thirty-five miles west of Boston. Shrewsbury High is a four-year comprehensive high school housing approximately 1850 students. The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
How to Plan a Program
Planning an educational program is an ongoing process and should involve the student, parents, teachers and school counselors. Course selection marks the beginning of responsible decision-making for many students. Parents should be involved in giving both help and direction as a student works through his/her decision. A major part of the process of course selection involves the gathering of information. Classroom teachers and school counselors are valuable resources at this stage.
The Program of Studies has been prepared with students in mind. Read it first to obtain information on the entire high school curriculum and then read the booklet a second time, more carefully, to obtain specific information on those courses which are either required for next year or those in which you have a particular interest and will elect.
Classroom teachers have in-depth knowledge of the content of various courses taught within their department. In addition, they are usually aware of the level of expectation within each course. Because they know students well and the kind of work individuals are capable of, teachers can make valid recommendations as to which courses to take within the department.
School counselors have a broad overview of the entire curriculum. Besides having a strong sense of the student’s performance and ability level, counselors are very aware of the courses necessary to fulfill graduation requirements. In addition, counselors are able to provide advice about the kind of program and courses, which will be helpful to students as they prepare to pursue post-high school plans. Final placement can be discussed with the appropriate counselor and department director. Not all student choices can be accommodated within scheduling constraints and school placement policies. The principal will make final decisions on placement.
To earn a diploma from Shrewsbury High School, a student must earn a minimum of 105 credits and pass the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). Specific distribution requirements must be fulfilled for graduation.
All students must earn at least the following credits:
20 credits in English 10 credits in Physical Education
15 credits in Social Sciences 3.75 credits in Health
15 credits in Math 2.5 credits in Fine or Performing Arts
15 credits in Science 23.75 credits in Electives
Within the stated credits, students must earn a specific number of credits in the following courses:
|Subject Area||Total # of Credits Required for Graduation||
Specific Courses Required for Graduation
|English||20||English 9-5 credits|
|English 10-5 credits|
|English 11-5 credits|
|English 12-5 credits|
|Social Sciences||15||U.S. History I -5 credits|
|U.S. History II -5 credits|
*four years of math is required for acceptance into Massachusetts public universities or colleges
|Health||3.75||Health 9: Wellness - 1.25 credits
Health 10: Healthy Living - 1.25 credits
Health 11: Lifelong Health - 1.25 credits
|Physical Education||10||Grade 9 PE - 2.5 credits|
|Grade 10 PE - 2.5 credits|
|Grade 11 PE - 2.5 credits|
|Grade 12 PE - 2.5 credits|
|Fine or Performing Arts||2.5||---|
A semester of work in a course that meets daily earns 2.5 credits; a full year’s work in a course that meets every day earns 5 credits. Freshmen and sophomores must carry a minimum of 31.25 credits. Juniors must carry a minimum of 28.75 credits and seniors must carry a minimum of 30 credits.
Only credits earned in grades 9-12 may be applied to graduation requirements. In order to participate in graduation, ALL requirements must be met. In addition, a senior must remain in good standing throughout senior year and pass four full credit courses (2.5 credits per semester) for the second semester. Courses that are graded on a Pass/Fail basis are not included toward the four unless stipulated on an IEP or by prior administrative agreement. Seniors who do not successfully complete the requirements for a diploma are not allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.
In order to continue with the class, students must earn the following credit:
Students repeating freshman year may be promoted to the sophomore year at the end of the first semester if they have earned 33 credits. Those students repeating sophomore year may be promoted to the junior year at the end of the first semester if they have earned 59 credits. Students repeating junior year may be promoted to the senior year by earning 89 credits by the end of the first semester.
Students may repeat courses for the following reasons:
○ Both grades (the failing grade as well as the new grade) will appear on the transcript and will be counted towards GPA.
● Poor Grades
○ Both grades (the lower grade as well as the new grade) will appear on the transcript, and both grades will count towards GPA.
Summer School/Credit Recovery
Summer School/Credit Recovery may be offered to provide students with the opportunity to make up failed courses.
● Students must attain a minimum grade of C- in the summer school/credit recovery course in order to receive credit.
● All summer school/credit recovery courses will be considered equivalent to one semester of work (worth 2.5 credits).
● Make-up should be done during the summer school session following the academic year in which the course was taken. No sequential courses may be taken prior to passing the prerequisite. Students failing one semester of English must make it up during summer school (if teacher approved) or during the academic year immediately following the failure. Whenever two semesters of English credit are outstanding, the student may not go on to the next year of English. He/she/they must make up both semesters of English at that point.
● A student must have the approval of the counselor and administrator to attend summer school/credit recovery program. He/she/they must maintain good attendance, make a reasonable effort, and exhibit acceptable behavior in the failed class. Administrators will review cases on appeal with the department director.
To discuss course offerings and the selection process, please make an appointment with your school counselor: Click for a list of counselors by grade.
All placements are designed to provide the maximum intellectual challenge for each student. The school makes placement decisions on the basis of aptitude as determined by standardized testing, past academic performance, and teacher recommendations. Placement assumes that ability will allow success, but normal student effort is also assumed; low grades are not automatically a basis for dropping levels. It is also assumed that students and teachers will anticipate upward movements in level placements based on intellectual growth over years of schooling. Placement levels may vary in different subject areas.
Advanced Placement (AP):
AP courses are college-level classes that follow a specific, College Board approved curriculum taught by Shrewsbury High School staff. Courses are designed for the maximum challenge of the most intellectually curious students. Very substantial initiative and independent work is the norm. Students are expected to take the AP examination.
Where Advanced Placement is not available, honors is the highest level in intellectual challenge. Substantial initiative and independent work is the norm.
The largest grouping of students in the high school is A Level. Courses require a moderate to extensive intellectual development and outside preparation. These courses are designed to prepare students for college and the world of work.
Grade Point Average/Class Rank
Grade point average is calculated from the total number of quality points a student earns. The grades received in the course taken and the level of the courses determines quality points.
Shrewsbury High School does not report class rank to colleges and universities. Students’ weighted grade point average is reported on the transcript and to colleges/universities.
Calculation of the valedictorian and salutatorian is based on the top two highest weighted grade point averages. In order to be considered for Valedictorian and/or Salutatorian, students must be enrolled as a Shrewsbury High School student for 8 consecutive semesters. Final determination of these distinctions will be made at the conclusion of quarter 3 of students’ senior year.
The semester grade is an average of the two-term grades added to the semester exam. The weight of the semester exam may range from 10% to 20% of the semester grade.
Allocation of staff, rooms, and the number of sections offered are determined by the number of student requests received for a specific course; therefore, students selecting full-year courses are committed to remaining in the course for the entire year. Exceptions are permitted under certain circumstances. Also, students selecting semester courses are committed to remaining in these courses for the semester scheduled.
The “best” schedule is the one that includes a comprehensive educational plan linked with career awareness and exploration. SHS offers students’ applied academic courses, workplace, and school-based learning, occupational and technical courses, field trips and internships. Our curriculum will effectively prepare students to live and work in a highly technical society through meaningful educational and career preparation.
College Preparatory Program
As suggested earlier, school counselors can provide sound advice about an appropriate college preparatory program. Generally speaking, students should enroll for the most rigorous level of classes that they can handle. Each year students should be taking “major” courses in the liberal arts: English, mathematics, languages, social studies and science. In addition to these solid academic courses, students should also take the opportunity to broaden their scope and satisfy their interests by taking electives in the areas of family and consumer science, art, music, engineering, technology, and media.
College preparatory academic courses should include:
● English: courses in composition and literature that will include the development of reading, writing and comprehension skills.
● Mathematics: courses in algebra, geometry, advanced math. Students considering attending a Massachusetts state university are required to take four years of math as prescribed by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. Additionally, students who plan to major in math, science or engineering, should take a fourth year of math, including calculus.
● Science: courses in biology, chemistry or physics.
● History/Social Sciences: challenging advanced electives in human and social development.
● World Language: two to three years of the same foreign language are the minimum language requirements. More are strongly recommended. Highly selective colleges look favorably upon four or five years.
● Related Electives: to broaden the depth and scope of a student’s educational background. Examples of these courses include child development, art, music, T.V. or technology.
Two-Year Technical/Junior/Community College
Students planning post-high school education at a two-year college should follow the same prescribed program as for the four-year college.
Students planning to join the workforce full-time immediately upon graduation, in an entry-level position, should plan their high school program not only to satisfy graduation requirements but also to take advantage of courses that will provide marketable work-based competencies. Courses from Family & Consumer Science, Technology, Media(TV production), business, music/art departments, Cooperative Work Study such as Job Shadowing, are strongly recommended.
Shrewsbury High School fully embraces the guiding principle that technology enhances teaching and learning. In support of this belief, SHS has increased access to technology by providing each student an iPad and maintaining several computing areas. Access to computers can be found in the media center, computer labs and teachers have access to department laptop carts. These labs are scheduled by teachers and/or departments in order to teach entire classes a particular application or to hold workshops. Daily after-school access is available in the computer labs until 2:30 pm & in the media center until 3:00 pm.
Peer tutoring is designed for students who need extra help in a subject. Tutors help support 9th and 10th graders with content, organization, and study skills. Peer tutors are National Honor Society members or students in grades 11-12 who have been recommended by their teachers. Tutoring sessions take place in departmental areas or media center during the student's study period; tutoring continues for as long as needed. Students are referred by a teacher, counselor, administrator, or parent. Please contact the school counseling office for more information about the program.
School Psychologist Counseling Services are available to all students in order to help them cope better with personal issues that may jeopardize healthy adolescent development. Students may make appointments directly with the school psychologists or through school administrators, teachers, school nurses, parents, or counseling staff.
Mrs. Michelle LeMay (508-841-8800 x8850)
Ms. Jazmin Santos (508-841-8875)
School Counseling Department
The SHS School Counseling Department supports the American School Counseling Association national standards and the Massachusetts Model for school counseling by providing academic, career, and personal/social development including post-secondary support for all students at SHS. School counseling programming is delivered to students in grades 9-12 through a classroom developmental guidance curriculum, individual meetings, and various group activities.
School counselors design, plan, and deliver a developmental school counseling curriculum through group seminars. Counselors will use a career and college program to help students in every step of their post-secondary planning.
Students participate in a three-day curriculum that assists students through the transition of high school by addressing the culture of SHS through its Core Values and understanding how to navigate SHS academically and personally to achieve success. Students are also introduced to our career and college search program.
Students participate in a two-day curriculum understanding personal academic goals and school resources available to support their goals. In addition, students will develop a personal in-depth career exploration. Students complete a financial planning activity and are also introduced to Test Prep for access to SAT and ACT preparation.
Students participate in a three-day junior planning seminar. Juniors begin the post-secondary planning research process by utilizing our career and college program in preparation for Junior Planning Night for students and parents/guardians. During semester two, counselors will meet will juniors to discuss post-high school planning and the college search process.
Students participate in a two-day post-planning application workshop including a stress education and management workshop with counselors. Individual meetings are planned for personalized planning throughout the college and post-planning application process. Additionally, various evening programs are presented to students and parents/guardians on the application process and financial aid.
Special Education Services
Shrewsbury High School is committed to providing comprehensive programs for students with disabilities. The high school subscribes to the philosophy that all students can learn and that the purpose of special education is to minimize the impact of disability and maximize student ability to achieve success in the least restrictive environment with the greatest access to the general curriculum.
A teacher, parent, social worker, and/or physician may refer students for evaluation. Following a referral, students are determined to be eligible for special education services when all three of the following conditions are met:
1. A student has a documented disability
2. A student is not making effective progress as a result of that disability
3. A Student requires specialized instruction or related services in order to access the general curriculum
For further information regarding procedures and programs, please contact the Special Education Department Director.
Director of Special Education:
Mrs. Meghan deLeon (508-841-8828)
Library Media Services
The Library Media Program at Shrewsbury High School provides experiences which help students become independent, self-sufficient learners and researchers by offering instruction and guidance in the use of our extensive reference collection, both in print and electronic media. The program also fosters an enjoyment of literature and an appreciation of varied literary genre.
Research activities are embedded into the curriculum where the media specialist and the teacher work collaboratively to assist the students. Students also visit the media center during directed study periods to work independently or in small groups. The media center and multimedia function presentation room are available for students' daily use. The Media Center is open daily until 3:00 p.m.
Media Center Staff:
Emily Bredberg, Media Specialist (508-841-8821)
The school nurses strengthen and facilitate the educational process by improving and protecting the health of children. The major focus of school nursing services is the prevention of illness and disability, and the early detection and correction of health problems.
Kayleigh Webert (508-841-8768)
Pam Johnson (508-841-8822)
Michelle Crouse (508-841-8822)
- School Counseling Staff Contacts
- College Visit Scheduling (for Colleges Only)
Program of Studies
- Principal's Message
- Shrewsbury High School’s Mission, Core Values, & 21st Century Learning Expectations
- Shrewsbury Public Schools Non-Discrimination Policy
- General Information
- Information on Health and Sexuality Education
- Special Programs
- English Department
- English Language Education Department
- Family and Consumer Sciences Department
- Health and Physical Education Department
- Technology, Media & Business
- Mathematics Department
- Performing Arts Department
- Science and Engineering Department
- Social Sciences Department
- Visual Arts Department
- World Language Department
- Family-Counselor Connection: Events and Newsletters
- College Related Testing
- College Planning Night: For Juniors and Families
- Financial Aid Information
- Nuts & Bolts Night: For Seniors and Families
- Special Programs
- Forms and Documents
- Jobs for Students
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